Lebanese protesters stormed government ministries in Beirut and trashed the offices of the Association of Lebanese Banks on Saturday as shots rang out in increasingly angry demonstrations over this week’s devastating explosion.
The protesters said their politicians should resign and be punished for negligence they say led to Tuesday’s blast, the biggest ever to hit Beirut, that killed 158 people and injured more than 6,000, compounding months of political and economic meltdown.
A policeman was killed during the clashes, a spokesman said. A policeman at the scene said the officer died when he fell into an elevator shaft in a nearby building after being chased by protesters.
The Red Cross said it had treated 117 people for injuries on the scene while another 55 were taken to hospital. Policemen wounded by stones were treated by ambulance workers. A fire broke out in central Martyrs’ Square.
Dozens of protesters broke into the foreign ministry where they burnt a portrait of President Michel Aoun, representative for many of a political class that has ruled Lebanon for decades and that they say is to blame for its current mess.
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